Learning Difficulties in Children

Loehr-Daniels Life Reading Reports

Learning Difficulties in Children

- by Helen Roberts


            The soul is to help bring God’s values into Earth and to put the physical world into a closer alignment with God’s spiritual world. In today’s world of violence, injustice, and poverty, creating a better world is a multi-faceted project, and the outlook can often appear bleak. This outlook makes it all the more important to keep our eyes on what is being done rather than dwelling on what is not being accomplished.

  Today’s educational system is among those many areas that need improvement. It is also an area in which many are working. The entire subject of improving our education system is large enough to fill many books--and it does. Progress is being made.

 One of the considerations as we are creating a more effective educational program is the importance of the individuality of children.  We must allow for that individuality in any school system. Even though they are not yet the norm, most of us are aware of school programs that stress individuality among children.  The Montessori program is probably the most well known and certainly represents a step in the right direction.  

            Independent programs of educa-tion were studied in the United States at least as early as the 1930s. For a few years I was privileged to work in such a program as a sixth grade math teacher in 1970s Connecticut. However, this system requires small classes, excellent teachers, and large supplies of material. These are some of the problems being worked with by educators in their efforts to improve the education process. 

            In 1960, there was at least one female teacher who took this process one step further by trying to learn about the spiritual causes of her student’s learning problems.  Margaret Jean Hemphill—yes, our own Tom Hemphill’s mother—taught special education classes in 1960. Margaret Jean was the sister of Franklin Loehr, one of Dr. John’s channels and the founder of Religious Research, and she often asked her brother to request help for her from Dr. John.  

The following is a reading in which Margaret Jean asks about four of her special education students. This is Consultation Reading #1531, given December 6, 1960, channeled by Grace Wittenberger Loehr and conducted by Franklin Loehr.  Names are changed to protect identities. For clarity, comments that I make will be in bold italics. The reading begins after the opening prayer and after Dr. John is contacted:




            Dr. Loehr: Good morning, Dr. John. We come to you at this time in behalf of some children in Margaret Jean’s special education class. The first is Nancy, and the big question is: Why does she have difficulty with her arithmetic? Back of that, of course is the primary question: What can be done to help her? 

            Dr. John: There is a mental block in Nancy, a mentality that is limited. It would be well to have the psychologist check her and his findings would be helpful in understanding. She should be guided into a pattern of expression within the confines of her limited intelligence. She should not be pushed to conform to the standards of education in arithmetic. Teach her to use her fingers to count and let her get the basic simple addition in that way. 

            She should not be made to feel ashamed. There should be no pressure put upon her, either in school or at home. Let her be accepted for what she is. This is not at this time an emotional problem with her and it need not become one. She is a completely happy child and within her own boundary of simplicity she will stay happy if she is not pressured and if she is not blamed or ridiculed for what she does not accomplish. 

            Dr. Loehr: What’s the outlook for her life? Any high school would seem to be rather difficult for her by what we see. 

            Dr. John: Yes. She should attempt high school if she is willing to, and if there is an understanding of her on the part of the teachers through these tests. The psychologist may have definite suggestions to make in this regard. We do not know all the rules there. They may have a school that does not require so much. Let her go as far in school as she wants to go. Then she will probably be able to find some work. It may be as a helper in a home or something quite simple. She will get along in her pattern of living all right if, as we repeat, she is not forced to conform to standards that are above her ability. 

            Dr. Loehr: Is it expected that she will have a home of her own, marry and have children? 

            Dr. John: Yes, she probably will. 

            Dr. Loehr: How will she as a mother be able to prepare her children for the demands of this present generation’s existence? 

            Dr. John: Well that’s a long way off. We don’t go into it in detail. That pattern will be worked out right. The father will be of help. There will be other influences brought into the picture, but she will be able to hold up her end, and in a very quiet and simple way she will make her contribution to those about her. 

            Dr. Loehr: You say she’s a rather young soul in earthliving. 

            Dr. John: No, we did not say anything of the kind. She is well-started in earthliving. 

            Dr. Loehr: Why has a life of this type of mental limitation come to her now? 

            Dr. John: This is a karmic situation for her, one that the soul has assumed—a pattern the soul has chosen. And it is a right pattern for the present. 

            In masculine expression she was a personality with a very keen intelligence. By using that intelligence and moving ahead, a he developed a great deal of pride and a great deal of scorn for those whom the personality did not consider his mental equal. It was a lifetime in which the processes of the mind and the use of the mind were over-glorified, over-emphasized—just as in some lifetimes the pattern is that which you refer to as  “Money is their God.”

 So in this lifetime for this personality the mind was his God. A loving heart is more to earthliving than a keen intelligence, and the soul is learning that. The soul will find other compensations in this earthlife. 

            Dr. Loehr: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” is still the first commandment for us earthlings. 

            Dr. John: Right. 

            Dr. Loehr: Where and when was this masculine life of intellectualism and mental pride? 

            Dr. John: It was in the late 1600s, in the present country on the East Coast. 

            Dr. Loehr: Is there any further suggestion, perhaps, of a day-by-day nature, or of some particular specific other than already given, that would be helpful to Margaret Jean now as she helps to guide Nancy through this year of school? 

            Dr. John: No, we think the next step is for her to call in the psychologist and be guided by his findings. Then, as we said, to go ahead working with the child on the use of the fingers in counting.




            Dr. Loehr: The next one of whom Margaret Jean would ask is Leo. Unlike Nancy, Leo is good at arithmetic. He was born in 1947 and would be in the 7th grade but Margaret Jean has put him into 8th grade arithmetic. However, Leo cannot read. 

            Leo lives in his own home with his parents and three brothers, and none of his family is very bright. To what extent are Leo’s limitations due to his heredity in this life and to what extent are they karmic or purposeful? 

            Dr. John: Leo is not limited mentally. He has the ability to learn. His home environment has been against him and has planted suggestions within his mind that he can’t learn. But the encouragement and wise helpfulness of a teacher such as Margaret Jean could bring him through this period and could win him over from the feeling that he cannot read, to the feeling that he can. He could come out victorious on the other side of this. This is a learning experience for the soul. It is one of the experiences in a pattern of quantitative living. It is not karmic.


            “Pattern of quantitative living” refers here to a type of lifetime that in later years Dr. John called a “quantity life.” This is a lifetime in which the soul is seeking all types of experience and growth vs. one in which the soul is concentrating on one particular area of learning.


            Dr. John: He was purposefully drawn into this pattern because of its providing the soul with a learning and growing experience. However, the mental capacity of the father and mother do not have effect, hereditarily speaking, on the boy. He does not have a brilliant mind, but he has an average one and he can get through school all right. He should get through school—that is, he should from the soul point of view, from the plan of the life for him. This is a learning experience, a stimulating experience of earthliving for this soul.  

            Dr. Loehr: When you say that he can get through school all right, do you mean just the grade schools, or high school also? 

            Dr. John: No, we mean through high school. 

            Dr. Loehr: College? 

            Dr. John: We do not know. That will depend on how his interests develop. But a lot can be done with an individual like that by someone who can inspire him to believe in himself, and Margaret Jean can do that. Margaret Jean can stand out in the future years of this boy’s life as the one who was a turning point for him. 

            Dr. Loehr: Would there be a point in getting some of the state education department schools psychologist tests and consultations with him? 

            Dr. John: We do not think it would be necessary. What she has been using with him, the way she has been talking to him and encouraging him, is very fine and is the key to use with him. 

            Dr. Loehr: The older three brothers give the impression likewise of being mentally retarded. What is the heredity factor of mental limitations in a parent, coming through a child, as a general phenomenon? 

            Dr. John: When it is a karmic situation that a soul experience a lifetime of mental deficiency, that soul is very often drawn to a parent of deficiency, and that soul picks up the hereditary pattern of the parent in that respect. This is where your law of heredity fits in. 

            Dr. Loehr: Only when it can be used in the divine purpose for the individual? 

            Dr. John: That is correct. 

            Dr. Loehr: Well that explains two things: both the way in which the law does work and also the exceptions. At times you have a most brilliant youngster coming from a most unpromising background. I think most people would consider the background of Leonardo de Vinci unpromising, and yet here we have a tremendous historic example before us of what can happen in such a case.




            Dr. Loehr: Now we would turn to the next student of whom Margaret Jean would ask. Lana was abandoned by her parents and is another of Mrs. Hemphill’s remedial class. She lives alone with her grandfather at the present time. What do you see and what do you suggest concerning Lana? 

            Dr. John: We would like to see Lana put into a different environment. We would like to see her put into a foster home or an adopted home, or whatever the laws there would make possible—perhaps just staying with a kind friend for a period of time. Now she has had some traumatic chocks in her life and they have not been dealt with. She did not know how to deal with them and no one has helped her. She has a slight tendency to shut life away from her. She is not embracing life subconsciously; she is not open enough to it. This is showing up in the very pattern of her appearance. She subconsciously wishes to be different so that people will not like her and will not accept her. In that way, life will not come in and bring her further hurt.


            We don’t have any material about the students in this reading, so we can’t know what the trauma for Lana involved. We can only assume that her parents died or some situation took them out of her life and put her with her grandfather.


            Dr. John: This is not too deeply rooted. That is, the root of this is not in a past life, but is in the experience of early childhood of this life. It is not too late to overcome it by a great deal of personal attention and love and tender care. Now the grandfather would be responsive to that kind of a change for Lana, provided it was a place where he would be in close touch with her and a place where he could see that she was getting the love and attention she needed. He would be easily persuaded with the approach of what is best for Lana, for he loves her very dearly and he himself, within himself, recognizes that she is at an age where she needs the care and love of a woman. 

            Now Lana will be more difficult to persuade than the grandfather, but if you win the grandfather over he will be the one who can persuade Lana. Be sure to get Lana in the right environment without breaking the ties of the grandfather. Let her realize that it is simply expanding the circle—it is not shutting the grandfather out—and she would begin to respond rather quickly. The grandfather and Lana are cyclemates and the grandfather is the sponsor soul for Lana.


            Cyclemates are souls who incarnate with each other more often than with other souls, thus becoming quite close and usually very congenial. Sponsor souls are those who “sponsor” other souls with less experience. The sponsor soul will incarnate with the other soul to help “show it the ropes.” This could be helping a new soul in its first life or it could be helping a soul that is coming into a new area of growth—such as a feminine soul coming into its first masculine life. This is also a close relationship, and the one being sponsored will sometimes be dependent on the sponsor.  


            Dr. Loehr: Did he sponsor her into this cycle or into earthliving, or what? 

            Dr. John: Into earthliving in Italy in the 1400s A.D. 

            Dr. Loehr: We here understand the way in which emotional shocks are very real things. If a heavy beam fell on a child’s physical body, everyone would know that that heavy beam would have to be lifted before the physical body could be freed.  

But emotional heavy beams can fall upon our emotional body and in one sense pin someone down, yet people have so little understanding of how that beam, in its own being, needs to be lifted. In other words, the traumatic experience has to be dealt with and lifted from holding down the child’s—or anyone’s—emotional being. Most psychologists can handle something like this. What chance is there of Lana being freed? 

            Dr. John: As we have indicated, we think the freedom and her opportunity would come through this changed environment. 

            Dr. Loehr: Margaret Jean wonders if she should take Lana back to 3rd or 4th grade reading. She is concerned that this may upset Lana. 

            Dr. John: We would suggest she let that go for the time being, particularly if emphasis can be placed now on the changed environment. Let Lana become re-established and let the process of winning her by love and wooing her into life, so to speak, be begun. When she is secure in that, she could take the change in the grade. It may not then have to be quite such a drastic change. She would begin to respond more quickly to the remedial program.




            Dr. Loehr: The next one of whom Margaret Jean inquires is Tony, 13 ½ years old. He’s a happy and cooperative little fellow that just doesn’t seem to be getting much of anywhere. What do you see and what do you suggest concerning Tony? 

            Dr. John: Well, we suggest she continue to have a lot of patience with Tony and help him as far as he can cooperate, but then don’t worry very much about him. He’s not only a lazy little personality, he’s rather a lazy little soul at this time. And that’s all right for this particular soul.  

There is no pressure being put on that soul for any particular growth or achievement in this lifetime. And at the same time this soul is learning a great deal. It is learning how to handle a body of excessive weight. It is learning how to handle the attitudes of other people and maintain his own calm and quietness and happiness. So the years are not being wasted. They are being used for growth. 

            He is not limited particularly in mentality. He has an average intelligence. He could learn if he wanted to.   But he may not want to. It’s all right, and he will find his own place in life. Just help him while he’s in the picture, while he is yours to be helped and don’t worry too much about him. 

            Dr. Loehr: In other words, if the usual success pattern were used to measure his accomplishments, he would be judged a failure.  But judge not because man looks upon the outward parts and God, who sees the heart, knows that this life is providing something for the great ongoing picture of that soul--something which is learned even in the apparent slowness of learning in earth and personality terms.  

            Dr. John: One of the greatest things for the soul that is being developed by the personality’s riding along in the pattern he is, is the quality of integrity. He is being true to his own pattern, his own development, and his own self. In the deep subconscious on the soul level he knows this, and that is one reason he is not too disturbed by other people and what they think he should do. Now if he can maintain that, maintain that sense of knowing himself, that will be a real achievement. 

            Dr. Loehr: Well, I think Margaret Jean can help him on that, because I think Margaret Jean understands the way in which one man’s success is another man’s failure, and one person’s failure is another person’s success. I should like to ask, is the soul now incarnate as Tony masculine or feminine in its native valence? 

            Dr. John: Masculine. 

            Dr. Loehr: This is the one of the four that I had rather suspected might have been in the non-native valence in this life. 

            Dr. John: He has just come from feminine living in Greece in the 1800s. (1531) 

            That it is okay for a soul to be lazy was a bit of a surprise to me until I realized that in resting lives and in healing lives, laziness may be a good thing. This is not necessarily true of all of these types of lives, however. At any rate, we do not know why this life is one in which being lazy is acceptable—simply that it is okay for the present life. When we accept that Tony’s laziness is part of this life pattern, we can see how he could be developing integrity by sticking to a much maligned pattern. 

At the end of this reading, Dr. Loehr thanked Dr. John for helping Margaret Jean with her students. Dr. John stated that he did not usually give such information to someone other than the individual or his/her parents. However, he felt confident sharing with Dr. Loehr’s sister, because he knew that she was not only a good teacher, but she had the welfare of her students in mind when she asked such questions. 

            Of course there are other reason for learning disabilities, but it is interesting that asking about four students evoked four very different answers from Dr. John. Nancy is in a karmic lifetime. Leo’s home environment has given him an attitude of defeatism that interferes with his learning. Lana needs to be in a different home so that she can heal from emotional trauma. Tony is a lazy personality from a soul which is allowed to be lazy in this lifetime. Two of the four have problems that could not be found simply in the personalities, and Margaret Jean was given a different recipe for teaching each child. 

            This lifetime has brought a movement to probe for emotional problems in children with learning disabilities. I can foresee a future in which learning disabilities are judged also in the context of soul factors. What a bright world that will be!



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